The TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (TSO) is a Canadian orchestra based in
Toronto , Ontario. Founded in 1922, the TSO gave regular concerts at
Massey Hall until 1982, and since then has performed at Roy Thomson
Hall. The TSO also manages the
Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra
Peter Oundjian became the TSO's music director in 2003.
* 1 History
* 2 Music directors
* 3 References
* 4 External links
The TSO was founded in 1922 as the New Symphony Orchestra, and gave
its first concert at
Massey Hall in April 1923 with 58 musicians. The
first conductor was Luigi von Kunits, and that season there were
twenty concerts, as well as a performance at a spring festival.
In the summer of 1924, the symphony performed at the Canadian
National Exhibition. Shortly thereafter, the TSO began holding
children's concerts. The orchestra changed its name to the Toronto
Orchestra in 1927. In 1929, the TSO made its radio debut with
a one-hour broadcast on CBC Radio from the Arcadian Court of Simpson's
After von Kunits' death in 1931, conductor and composer Ernest
MacMillan served as music director for 25 years. Peter Oundjian
Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, June
The orchestra had made headlines for its hiring practices in 1951,
when it declined to renew the contracts of musicians, thereafter known
Symphony Six who had been denied entry to the United States on
suspicion of communist activities, during the McCarthy Era.
Andrew Davis was the TSO's music director from 1975 to 1988, and then
was given the title of conductor laureate with the TSO.
The orchestra had financial and audience size problems in the 1990s,
and in 1992 TSO musicians had accepted a 16% pay cut because of a
threat of bankruptcy to the orchestra, with a promise from management
to make up the loss in subsequent contract negotiations. By 1999, this
pay restoration had not happened, which led to an 11-week musicians'
strike that autumn. Relations between the musicians and management
deteriorated, and the music director at the time, Jukka-Pekka Saraste
, offered to serve as mediator in the situation. In addition, there
was a lack of public sympathy to the orchestra musicians' situation.
By 2001, the orchestra had debt of $7 million (Canadian), and both
executive director Ed Smith and music director Saraste had left the
Peter Oundjian was appointed as music director in January 2003 and
became music director with the 2004–2005 season. The 2005
documentary film Five Days in September: The Rebirth of an Orchestra
(Canada, 2005) recorded the first days of the TSO's inaugural season
with Oundjian as its new music director. His most recent TSO contract
extension was through the 2017-2018 season. He is scheduled to
conclude his TSO tenure at the close of the 2017-2018 season.
By the 2006–2007 season, the subscriber base had increased to about
25,000, and the audience average capacity also increased to 84%. In
November 2008, the orchestra reported its third consecutive year of
budget surpluses, with average audience attendance of 88% (excluding
concerts for schoolchildren), although the orchestra still retains
overall debt of $8.9 million (Canadian).
In April 2015, controversy ensued after the TSO cancelled the
Valentina Lisitsa , citing Twitter postings by her in
relation to the conflict in Ukraine which were seen as conducive to
'public incitement of hatred' under the Criminal Code of Canada. In
January 2017, the TSO announced its participation in the celebrations
of the 150th anniversary of
Canada , with a cross-country celebration
of Canadian music and musicians to involve 40 orchestras and as many
as 60 new commissions called "
Canada Mosaic" and funded by the
Luigi von Kunits (1922–1931)
Ernest MacMillan (1931–1956)
Walter Susskind (1956–1965)
Seiji Ozawa (1965–1969)
Karel Ančerl (1969–1973)
Victor Feldbrill (1973–1978)
* Sir Andrew Davis (1975–1988)
Günther Herbig (1988–1994)
Jukka-Pekka Saraste (1994–2001)
Peter Oundjian (2004–present)
* ^ A B C D Vyhnak, Carola. "Birth of the
Toronto Star, 14 June 2015, page A12.
* ^ William Littler for the
Toronto Star. May 8, 2015. The TSO’s
Englishman in Toronto
* ^ "
Toronto Symphony negotiations hit sour note". CBC News. 25
September 1999. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
* ^ Warren, Richard, It Begins With The Oboe. University of Toronto
Press (Toronto, 2002; ISBN 978-0-8020-3588-2 ), pp. 209–211.
* ^ Tamara Bernstein (25 October 2001). "
Toronto Symphony Teeters
on the Edge of Ruin". andante.com. Archived from the original on
November 17, 2002. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
* ^ John Terauds (8 February 2007). "Conductor puts mark on TSO
Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
* ^ James R Oestreich (2011-03-16). "Orchestra, Back From the
Brink". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
* ^ Arthur Kaptainis (2016-02-05). "Two more seasons for TSO\'s
Peter Oundjian". National Post. Retrieved 2016-03-20.
* ^ Robert Harris (2017-01-25). "
its final Oundjian-led season". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved
* ^ John Terauds (3 February 2007). "TSO\'s new season". Toronto
Star. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
* ^ John Terauds (20 November 2008). "TSO salutes its third surplus
Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
* ^ "
Toronto symphony bans Ukrainian-born pianist over
‘provocative’ tweets denouncing Kyiv\'s \'neo-Nazis\'". National
Post. 2015-04-07. Retrieved 2016-03-20.
* ^ Harris, Robert (20 January 2017). "
Canada Mosaic: An imperfect
but important cultural program". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 8
* ^ Littler, William (16 January 2017). "
Canada Mosaic puts
Canadian music on the map
Toronto Star. Retrieved 8